July 22, 2020
Meet Sara Naumann, a Tokyo-born travel writer who's just joined the LUXE fam as our newest Shanghai resident editor. Having lived most of her life in Asia, with short stints in her homeland of the US, she's spent the last 15 years living in China’s bonafide fashion capital and ‘Paris of the East.’
Sara Naumann, LUXE Shanghai Editor
“Exploring China is one of my biggest passions, from climbing the Great Wall to spending the summer in southern Yunnan,” says Sara. “After landing in Shanghai for what was meant to be a year abroad with my husband, it’s been 15 years and we’ve never left. I’ve literally watched the city transform from its debut on the global stage to a fully modern metropolis with some of the best experiences the world has to offer."
Read on to discover Sara’s favourite places in Shanghai, from the most buzzing spots to the most peaceful getaways.
Technically falling in the Xuhui District, the area from Huaihai to Taojiang Lu is a hip ‘hood that’s popular with visitors. The streets are lined with French plane trees and when they leaf out in the spring, the neighbourhood is enveloped in a romantic canopy. The lanes and old homes are in constant transition so it’s great for urban explorers (clad in comfy walking shoes). Find gorgeous boutiques such as Le Monde de SHC on Taojiang Road, or a new café in a manicured garden, like the recent redevelopment of the historic Blackstone Apartments on Fuxing.
When people look at Jing’an, they mostly see big-label stores, shopping malls, the flashy Jing’an Temple and bad traffic. But, it’s actually much more than that. The historic McKinnon Hotel has recently been playing host to the award-winning theatre show Sleep No More. One of my favourite photo galleries, M97, can be found in a new development on Changping Road and the best curio shop in Shanghai, Madame Mao’s Dowry, is on Fumin Road. Suzhou Creek dissects the neighbourhood and makes for a lovely walk.
The West Bund on the Xuhui Waterfront is my oasis. Stretching over 10 kilometres on the Puxi (west) side of the Huangpu River, this development offers running, walking and bicycle tracks, picnic areas, a skate park, basketball courts, dog runs and more. I love to go on my own for a long, uninterrupted jog, but with the family, we take our dog, Lumi, for runs on the fresh grass or picnics under the sun—weekends spent outside on the waterfront is the perfect urban escape.
The West Bund has four contemporary art museums with fantastic public and private collections. The Centre Pompidou is the most recent arrival to the riverfront and I’m looking forward to their collaboration with the West Bund Group and upcoming exhibitions from the Centre Pompidou’s own collections.
Happy hour at Café Gray Deluxe. Catching up over cocktails on the terrace as the sun sets over Shanghai is the perfect way to kick off the weekend.
Follow Sara on Instagram @sara_naumann for her latest finds.
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